Russian blogger Navalny taken to court by force, accused of breaking the rules of organizing public gatherings

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Police have brought Russian opposition blogger Alexey Navalny into a Moscow district court on administrative charges, a police spokesman said on Thursday.

Navalny and one of his supporters, Nikolai Lyaskin, were detained on Sunday while handing out leaflets in the Moscow subway.

“Navalny had to appear in court but failed to do so at the appointed time,” the spokesman said.

Navalny said the court would hear his administrative case behind closed doors. However, a TASS correspondent reported later that journalists had been admitted to the courtroom.

The blogger is accused of breaking the rules of organizing public gatherings. He could face a fine of up to 300,000 roubles ($4,800), community service or up to 30 days in jail.

Navalny said the court had refused to recuse judge Irina Zubova who had earlier handed him a guilty verdict.

“She has already jailed me for 15 days and I understand that the same will happen this time,” he said.

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